Students write, design, create Web pages

Principal touts multiple skills
Thursday, October 5, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:02 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Students in the Web Page Club at Parkade Elementary School anxiously waited Monday to interview teachers and begin working on their Web pages. The 12 students are making a Web page for each of the grades at Parkade, and after hearing the instructions, they scurried down the halls to complete their interviews.

Elaine Janes and Becky Melton, teachers at Parkade and the club’s sponsors, said the club teaches students creativity, confidence and improves their writing and cooperation skills.

As she spoke to the club Monday morning, Janes stressed the importance of the partners agreeing on the design of the Web page.

“Working cooperatively outside the classroom, they can see the importance of working together,” Janes said.

Principal Betsy Baker said the Web Page Club, which is for fourth- and fifth-graders, is a valuable tool outside the classroom.

“There is not time during the day to work on Web pages and things like that,” Baker said. “It’s a good use of technology because it gives them use of it in a creative way, but it doesn’t take away from instruction during the day.”

Baker also said the social skills the students strengthen by interacting with other students and teachers are important. In addition to navigating the computer, the students use real world journalism skills when they interview teachers and write paragraphs for the Web pages.

Fourth-grader Courtney Rowland said she loves being in the club because she gets to take the teachers’ pictures.

“It’s kind of hard speaking to new people,” she said, but after her first interview she said it was easier.

Because Parkade Elementary is an Enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies school, third- through fifth-grade classrooms have one computer per two students, a Smartboard, projector, scanner and digital camera. Though the students are not as familiar with Microsoft Frontpage, the program that will be used to create the Web pages, they incorporate skills they have gained using other Microsoft programs, Janes said.

“A lot of it is not new because it’s easy to convert one product to another,” Janes said, referring to Microsoft programs.

After school, the teachers have their own Web Page Club where they worked on their individual Web pages.

Preschool teacher Kat Kaluzny said she finds value in creating her Web page.

“It’s another way to involve parents inside and outside of school,” she said.

Her students may not be creating Web pages, but they can benefit from using her Web page with their parents’ help, Kaluzny said.

“Even for our youngest students to use a mouse and learn about different components of the computer is giving them a jump start on the future,” she said.

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